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Author Topic: My mess, otherwise known as my garden  (Read 5223 times)
reinbeau
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« on: June 08, 2008, 11:25:19 AM »

John said he wanted more gardening posts, so I'm going to try to make him happy.  This is what I'm doing in my yard right now - it's overwhelming, sometimes I just sputter around out there, I have so much I want to do.  It'll take a couple years still to get it all finished the day I want it.

I moved my garden from the front yard to the back.  For almost 30 years I grew in raised beds my father made me - out of pressure treated lumber, I know, I know, but back then we didn't, and I figure since it didn't kill us yet now all the nasties have leached out, so I'm going to keep using them.  Anyways.  This is what it looked like:



I had a huge spot in the backyard to turn into a veggie garden.  My back yard used to be a shady oasis:



But a septic install turned it into a clean slate:



So I cut a roughly 40x40' garden in and started improving the soil.  Unfortunately there are two whale-rocks out there (I mean they're the size of whales!) that couldn't be moved, they're lurking about 18" down in a few places, so I have to work around them.  Rocks were the reason I was using raised beds out front in the first place!

I thought I'd like working directly in the ground instead of in the beds.  I was wrong.  I missed the organization of those beds!  So now I'm working on the best of both worlds.  I've moved the beds out back, and I'm working on moving the dirt from the front to the back, and I've also got a good sized area to grow the large stuff that never really worked well in the beds, like corn and squash. 

We never did put a back lawn in out there, I wasn't sure how I wanted things laid out, so it's very much a work in progress.  Here is a shot of the whole backyard, as it sits today, with the veggie garden, the bees and the new coop under construction in the background.   I had those flagstones so I laid out where I want the path from the driveway to the back door.  I'm going to put edging in of some sort and fill it with stone dust (we've got lots up in Maine, I can bring it down in buckets) and then set the flagstones in that.  Between the garden beds I'm going to put down landscape fabric and three or four inches of pea gravel, and put a border of landscape timbers all around the whole veggie bed.   As you can see, I have plenty of plantains out there, so beestings won't be as painful for us!  cheesy



I will finish the lawn in sections out back as I have the time (and energy!).  The front garden will be turned into a more formal herb garden, with the border remaining as it is.  Still lots of work to do, but it's beginning to all come together!
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Jessaboo
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« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008, 12:15:10 PM »

My back hurts just looking at all that work you did. It looks really great! Can't wait to see that herb bed in the front yard - you have such a great view out that window where you took the pic you ought to make a knot garden that you can look down on.

I have always said I would make one but haven't done it yet - so I guess I have a NOT garden (get it? sorry - I inherited my father's sense of humor). Better Homes and Gardens actually has a nice, simple plan online that you can get here:

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plans/by-style/formal-knot-garden-plan/

but I am sure a google would lead you to hundreds of options.

We do raised beds for a veggies here, too, as a compromise for rocky/clay soil (I might be the only person in New Jersey who doesnt' have sandy soil) as well as the fact that an oil tank was removed not too long ago. Our area started out 12 x 12 and we do a lot of square foot fertilzing/planting but we expanded to include a 12 x 2 asparagus bed and we just put in 6 2 x 2 squares - 3 on each end to contain our squash (well, to the extent you can "contain" squash).







So what are you growin' in your beds? 



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reinbeau
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« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 01:07:22 PM »

Actually that isn't a window I took that picture from, I went out on the roof of the kitchen addition  cheesy  But a knot garden is kinda what I had in mind, either that or a square garden bisected diagonally with paths and a centerpiece of either a small fountain, a nice birdbath or a sundial.  Haven't decided yet.

Out back, one bed is full of annual herbs (basil, summer and winter savory, dill, marjoram etc), with some borage and sunflowers thrown in for the bees.  The borage self-sowed itself all over the front garden beds from last year, so I moved a few - they don't like transplanting much!  There's nasturtiums in that bed, too, three volunteers from the front garden (they don't transplant well, either, these sulked for a bit but they're fine now) and some I'm growing from seed, they haven't germinated yet.

Another bed has broccoli, peppers, eggplants and perpetual spinach (I'm experimenting with that one) in it, along with swiss chard from seed (not up yet, either).  Carrots just went in in another bed, I'll put radishes and beets in the other end, and summer squash is in the last bed I just filled yesterday.  I need enough dirt to fill two more beds and I'm done with that part. 

You can see the leeks left over from last year in the larger garden, they're almost ready to flower, the girls should love them!  Plus there's garlic and lettuce, and the tomatoes, all in the ground.  I've still got to get the corn, beans and winter squash in, as well as plant some Yukon Gold potatoes - I do have volunteer potatoes out there from whatever got left in the ground last year, either YG's or Russian Banana Fingerlings (I hope it's the latter!).  I don't know what I'll put in those two other beds, whatever comes to mind, I'm thinking of going to a garden center and buying a bunch of zinnias and other annual flowers just for this season.

Looks like you're enjoying your garden, too!  Is there anything like going out to the garden to gather up stuff for dinner?  I just love it.  It's amazing what you can grow in a relatively small area.  I'm often envious of people with several acres of land, but I love my .6 acre garden!
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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JP
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2008, 03:37:55 PM »

My Dad finally switched over to square foot gardening after yrs of doing long beds, it was a decision he insists was a big improvement.

I checked the beehive I set up as a swarm over there today, they're in a deep and two mediums and are doing well.

Pulled a little honey from it today and everyone said it was the best honey they ever had.

Don't have any pics from today but here are a few from a little while ago: http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus/May172008


...JP
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DayValleyDahlias
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2008, 01:36:11 AM »

Wow, y'all have some fantastic gardens!

Here is an early on photos of the patch...it has grown much bigger, I will have updates soon!


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Cindi
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2008, 08:42:00 AM »

Ann, holy smoking cadoodalhoppers!!!  Way to go girl!!!  I see that you have done lots, and lots, and lots.  I remember from your posts last year seeing your garden places, I remember them, and yes, you must have been a'workin' like a dog.  You have changed the look of your place significantly, I am impressed with what you have done with the area where the septic tank is.  I see the bees and I see that new green shed.  Is that where the chickens are now?  Beautiful!!!

When I looked at the picture of the septic tank area, it looked at first like you had the area paved, and then I looked more closely and it is gravel or something?  or dark kind of earth?  It must be some kind of earth because you have some kind of grassy stuff growing there now.  You are an amazing woman!!!  I love your raised beds, raised beds are so wonderful because you can control so much with them.  I have so many, many areas, never in a million years could I have raised beds here, just too much wild soil areas!!!   I wish I could have seen your whale rocks, that would have been a sight for the eyeballs for surely.  I have rocks, hundreds upon thousands, my rock pile has at least 2,000,000.  I know, I counted every one (hee, hee).  I will post a picture of this piece of work soon, I am almost finished throwing and pitching rocks on it for this year.  Then the second stack that will be rain washed will be ready to pitch on to the pile, as the summer progresses.  It is a work and a wonder, this rock pile, I kid you not.....and I am a proud rock garden owner, hee, hee.

I have been having a very difficult time to get into my gardens to finish/get planting.  It is the middle of June and I don't have my supersweet (sh2) corn in yet.  Supersweets demand a warm soil temperature or they just don't germinate.  Today I am going to take that bull by the horn and plant anyways, the sun is going to shine, after so long of rain and bad weather.  This will be a day of planting my other parts of the vegetable gardens too.  The broccolis are in, about 60 plants, but then, they like the cool weather, so that is good. 

Our blackberry flow has not yet even begun, I have looked and I think that they may bloom fully in a few more days.  The flow generally begins around the 5th of June, but not this  year, everything is a couple of weeks late.  Even my bridal veil is just now opening the pretty pink flowers.  It consistently blooms the 30th of May, every year, except this one.

Jessaboo.  You have some pretty nice gardens going on there too.  I see there is a man working in one of the gardens, I presume that is your wonderful Husband, a'helpin' you along, hee, hee, cool.!!!!!

JP, you Dad, the gardening soul, isn't that cool, after all these years, that he has found a method of gardening like you were saying that has improved his gardening style, how cool is that eh?  Beautiful day, love our beautiful days, we are beautiful.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
reinbeau
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2008, 09:25:31 AM »

Cindi, as I told Jody (I think), that was the loam they spread, but it was late November, far too late to start a lawn, and since lawns start better in the early fall, I didn't put one in.....now for three years running  cheesy  It'll happen, I'm not finished thinking yet!

The chickies are still in the house, they are only ten days old today and have to get their feathers fully, I guess, before they can go out there - then again, the coop has to have doors and a run first, too!  Good things come to those who wait.....
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Cindi
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2008, 11:12:54 AM »

Ann, loam, right, of course.  It will be really nice when you have completed your thinking and figure out all the rest of the garden stuff  Wink Smiley Smiley Smiley And my dear girl, yes, good things do come to those that wait.... Smiley Smiley Smiley  Have that most beautiful day, lovin' and groovin' with our beautiful lives.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2008, 06:22:26 PM »


Part of a tree being used as the flower bed.


The milkweeds are so so close to opening, I can't wait. That mint plant is about ready to be harvested too but I'll let the flowers fall off it first.


My sunflower garden, desperately in need of thinning but I've no where to put them and it may be to late for that.


Two of my Five hives set behind this mess of a garden, I may have posted this elsewhere. A tractor tire for a flower bed, cinder blocks holding up a home made trellis for cucumbers to grow up. An old shot of course, the lilies have actually started opening.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Plants/Lily2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Plants/Lily.jpg

A butterfly on a Cosmos
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Plants/ButterflyCosmos.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Plants/ButterflyCosmos2.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Plants/ButterflyCosmos3.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Plants/ButterflyCosmos4.jpg
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reinbeau
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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2008, 07:28:46 PM »

Ah, wonderful, a garden after my own heart!  I love it, Mr. ILoveTheAnts!  Someday we'll be finished, really, we will!  Wink
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Cindi
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2008, 10:14:57 AM »

MILTA.  Very nice, very nice.  About the sunflowers.  You must thin them.....better to have 50 strong plants than 200 weak and spindly ones.  Thin, thin and thin some more, leave at least 8 inches or more between the stalks.  Do not even attempt to transplant any sunflowers, they don't do well, and you will be wasting your time big time.

Thinning plants out (and pinching them too if they are too tall, in the case of other plants, don't pinch sunflowers) is one of the hardest, but necessary rules for gardeners.  Plants must, and need room to grow, upwards and sidewards (is there such a word, hee, hee).

I spent a good deal of time over the past few days, thinning out hundreds upon hundreds of sunflowers that have self-seeded from a certain area around the apiary.  I kept wishing with every seedling that I plucked out of the ground that I could find a use for it, but I just know that it had to go to the chickens for cleaning up, they love the greens.  I will post a picture one day of the sunflower patch, it was there last year and thousands of seeds that the birds didn't get overwintered and self-germinated.  I have sunflowers coming out of my ears, everywhere around the property, in a fairly close vacinity to where the mother plants were.  They just keep going and going and going.

I have new sunflower seeds that I am going to set to soil soon, that will prolong the growing season for the sunflowers.  And then next year that area will be self-sowing, this is going on all over my property with the self-sowers, fun, fun, fun, in that sun, that I know will keep on keepin' on.  Bring on those pictures of gardens!!!  We all be lovin' to see what you are all up to, hee, hee!!  I am serious, my forum friends, show us what you are all doing.  Have that most beautiful and wonderful day, love our life, our beautiful lives.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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